Recruitment for Sheffield’s home carers hits an all time low as burnt out staff struggle more now than during the height of Covid

Home care employees are burnt out from working through the pandemic while agencies are struggling to recruit and “employing almost any staff they can”.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:12 pm

Sheffield Council says home care providers are under significant strain and reporting enduring and increasing issues, particularly with staff wellbeing.

One carer said: “It’s like 4ft of snow, but for 18 months instead of 10 days” while another described it as “the worst we’ve experienced in 25 years in home care”.

Recruitment is at an all time low and agencies say there is more pressure now than at the height of Covid.

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City centre.

Alexis Chappell, director of adult health and social care, says in a report: “There’s a perception that there is a lack of training, supervision and monitoring of home care workers and no experience or qualifications are needed to do the job

“Staff retention is exceptionally difficult, as other sectors where wages and terms and conditions are superior, reopen.

“Staffing constraints leave providers with limited resources to expand their business to meet rising demand, and the strain upon the existing workforce impacts upon the quality of the care provided.

“Providers are unable to compete financially with other sectors – they are unable to attract, retain or select staff who are appropriately skilled for the role and can provide the best quality of care.

“Instead they are left in a position where they will employ almost any staff they can, if they are to meet the demand.”

A third of people working in home care don’t see it as a long term career, so are less enthusiastic about learning new skills or being promoted.

The payments system, based upon the minutes the care worker spends in a person’s home, is unsustainable and too complex.

And people receiving care are also unhappy. They have complained about late, missed, or inappropriate timing of visits or that they are rushed.

There is a lack of continuity of carers, plans are not followed or reviewed regularly and families have little opportunity to give feedback and difficulty making complaints.

Councillors will discuss the report at a meeting on Thursday, October 7.